Standing at the height of 3100 ft, Kothaligad is a small fort in the Karjat district in Maharashtra. It is also known as the Peth fort, as Peth village is located at the base of Kothaligad. The trek to Kothaligad is one of the famous treks in Mumbai, because its small height and easy climb. Kothaligad was a watchtower doubled as an ammunition storage space during the Maratha rule in 18th century. The fort offers a great view, overlooking Rajmachi Plateau, Matheran range, Bhimashankar and Peb fort.
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The trek to Kothaligad is divided in 3 parts. The first part of the trail is from Ambivali, the base village to the plateau. The second part is a 15 minutes walk through the plateau to reach the Peth Village at the footsteps of the peak and finally the climb up the peak to reach the Kothaligad.
The hike from Ambivali to plateau is a soft climb, and few waterfalls can be spotted from distance during the trail. This stretch can be completed in about 2 hrs. After reaching the plateau can the Kothaligad be seen for the first time. The view from the plateau is very enticing. Then a simple walk from there to Peth village. It’s a beautiful village with rice fields, and wild horses can be spotted occasionally.
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Post Peth Village, the trail gets little tricky as the climb to the top is narrow and steep, and goes through plantation. The trail leads to the steps which leads to the cave. Cave acts as halt space, and many local villagers sells refreshment there. The same set of steps reaches till the very end. These steps are carved out the mountain. These are narrow steps and have to be traded carefully. Finally at the end of the steps is the watchtower with a water tank and a cannon gun. The view from the top is heavenly with clouds everywhere, and waterfall painted in the surrounding beautifully.
How to get there –
Karjat Railway station is the nearest station to Ambivali village, the base village. There are regular trains to Karjat from Mumbai and Pune. From the station to Ambivali is about 53 kms and can be travelled through public transport. Alternatively private vehicles can be used to reach Ambivali village. There is plenty of space for parking.
Meant for –
It’s an easy trek and be covered in a day, making for a good weekend getaway from Mumbai. Difficulty level is beginner and any non-regular trekking people can attempt this trek. It’s a simple, and yet a beautiful trek. The route is quite simple and can be followed by lone hikers. Apart from that, many tour organisers like Trek Mates India, Mumbai Travellers, Mumbai Hikers etc, conducts guided trek to Kothaligad.
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